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to determine its exact course. My paper, “Senesence and Rejuvenation,” affords evidence of new facts proven by these experiments. I believe I have thus won the right to oppose my view to the pure speculations of Weismann.
(To be continued.)
BY ALPHEUS HYATT.
Dr. Minot having noticed, in the translation of his article “On Heredity and Rejuvenation,” an accidental omission of quotation of work done by paleontologists on the loss of characteristics in the development of animals, has most courteously asked me to follow his essay by an article dealing with this question. I gladly avail myself of this opportunity on account of the advantages offered where similar subjects can be consecutively treated from different points of view, and because Dr. Vinot's article, on account of his great and deserved reputation in embryology, will reach the students of existing biological phenomena, and perhaps induce some of them to read a connected publication.
The loss of characteristics is not so readily observed by a student of the biology of existing animals or neobiologist, as by the paleobiologist or student of fossils, because the latter necessarily deals with series of forms often persisting through long periods of time, and is led, especially if he follow more recent methods of research, to study these in great detail. The observer of these remains is not, as is falsely imagined, limited to fragments, but can and does work out of the hard matrix the external skeletons or shells even of embryos, and can, in the corals, brachiopoda, mollusca, echinodermata and even in protozoa, follow the entire life history of these parts in the individual. He has also the further advantage of availing himself of the knowledge amassed by the neobiologist and necembryologist, the works of Cope, Beecher, Schuchert, Gurley, Jackson and others, written in the last thirty years in this country and in Europe. The new school of Paleobiology also insists upon the close study of series of forms and rejects the methods usually pursued by the neoembryologist, who, as a rule, selects his objects of study and pursues his comparisons upon the old basis of comparative anatomy and with but little regard to the serial connections of forms. The importance of studying the seriality in structure of the members of the same group, those gradations, which lead from one variety to another, one species to another, one genus to another, until they may end in highly differentiated and often degraded offshoots, with as strange and unique developments as they have adult characters, seems not, as yet, to have attracted the attention of the students of development among recent animals as it has that of paleobiologists. The prevalent modes of study of living types has consequently led to noticing the phenomena of omission of hereditary characters only in an isolated way, and from the time of Balfour's “Comparative Embryology” these omissions occurring in the embryo have been named abbreviations, shortenings and omissions of development, and various attempts have been made to explain them upon more or less general grounds of inference. Prof. Cope and the writer and some other authors have been for a number of years publishing observations upon this class of phenomena under the title of the law of acceleration, asserting that in following out the history of series in time, or of existing series in structure, there was observable a constant tendency in the successive members (species, genera, etc.) of the same natural group to inherit the characters of their ancestors at earlier stages than those in which they appeared in these ancestors. That as a corollary of this tendency, the terminal forms eventually skipped or omitted certain ancestral characteristics, which were present in the young of the preceding or normal forms of the same series. and also in the adult stages of development of more remote ancestors of the same genetic stock or series. This law has since been independently rediscovered by several other naturalists, notably Würtemburger in Germany, and Buckman in England. The writer has lately christened this as the law of Tachygenesis' in allusion to the general character of the phenomena.
In a late paper, the writer reviewed Prof. Cope's and Haeckel's views of this law, and contrasted them with his own, and it seems advisable to give these remarks again in this connection.
Professor Cope has given the fullest explanation of this law, but has joined it with retardation. Thus, from his point of view, if I rightly understand him, inexact parallelism in development or failure to reproduce any hereditary characteristics is due to a tendency which appears in organisms and works in parallel lines with acceleration, the law being in his conception of a double nature. Thus he says, on page 142 of his "Origin of the Fittest,” “ The acceleration in the assumption of a character progressing more rapidly than the same in another character, must soon produce, in a type whose stages were once the exact parallel of a permanent lower form, the condition of inexact parallelism. As all the more comprehensive groups present this relation to each other, we are compelled to believe that acceleration has been the principle of their successive evolution during the long ages of geologic time. Each type has, however, its day of supremacy and perfection of organism, and a retrogression in these respects has succeeded. This has, no doubt, followed a law the reverse of acceleration, which has been called retardation. By the increasing slowness of the growth of the individuals of a genus, and later and later assumption of the characters of the latter, they would be successively lost. To what power shall we ascribe this acceleration by which the first beginnings of structure have accumulated to themselves through the long geologic ages, complication and power, till from the germ that was scarcely born into a sand lance, a human being climbed the complete scale, and stood easily the chief of the whole.” And again, on page 182 of the same work : "Acceleration signifies addition to the number of those repetitions during the period
1 " Phylogeny of an Acquired Characteristic.” Proc. Am. Phil. Soc. Philadelphia, XXXII, No. 143.
2 " Bioplastology and the Related Branches of Biologic Research.” Proc. Bost. Soc. Nat. Hist., XXVI, p. 77–81.
, preceding maturity, as compared with the preceding generation, and retardation signifies a reduction of the numbers of such repetitions during the same time.” Thus, from Cope's point of view, tachygenesis is the law of progression, and retardation is the law of retrogression, and they are both essential parts of his law of acceleration and retardation.
Haeckel alludes in general terms to the law of abbreviated development in his “ Morphologie der organismen,” and in his “Anthropogenie,” published in 1874, substantially agrees with Cope in his view of the law and uses the term “palingenesis' for the exact repetition of characteristics which occurs in the earlier and simpler forms of a phylum and" coenogenesis” for the abbreviated or highly accelerated cases of inexact parellism of the young of more complex forms with their ancestors. There is, however, an objection to this mode of using the last term which I mentioned also in writing the paper quoted.”
During the writing of this paper I took from Cope the statement made above, although unable to find any verification of it in Haeckel's Anthropogenie (1st and 2d editions both dated 1874), but, since the above was in press, I obtained a copy of the 4th edition (1891) and the reading of this has caused me to entirely alter my opinion with regard to Haeckel's opinions. He certainly had at that time, 1891, what seems to me erroneous and inadequate view of the nature and action of the laws of tachygenesis and gave it too limited application. He also used the terms, palingenesis and cenogenesis differently from the way in which Cope and others have used them in this country.
Haeckel states (Anthropogenie, 4th edition, Leipzig, p. 9, 1891) that "Palingenetische Processe oder keimesgeschichtliche Wiederholungen nennen wir alle jene Erscheinungen in der individuellen Entwickelungsgeschichte, welche durch die conservative Vererbung getreu von Generation zu Generation übertragen worden sind und welche deninach einen unmittelbared Rückschluss auf entsprechende Vorgänge in der stammesgeschichte der entwickelten Vorfahren gestatten. Cenogenetische Processe hingegen oder keimesgeschichtllche Störungen nennen wir alle jene vorgänge in der keimesgeschichte, whelche nicht auf solche vererbung von uralten stammformen zurüchführbar, vielmehr erst spater durch Anpassung der Keime oder der Jugendform an bestimme Bedingungen der Keimesentwickelung hinzugekomen sind. Diese ontogenetischen Erscheinungen sind fremde zuthnten welche durchaus keinen unmittelbaren Schluss anf entsprechende Vorgange in der stammesgeschichte der Ahnenreihe erlauben, vielmehr die Erkenntniss der letzteren geradezu fälschen und verdecken."
So far as one can get at Haeckel's oplnions from such expressions as the above it is obvious that he views shortened or abbreviated development in a very distinct light from that to which I am accustomed. He speaks of it as due to the introduction of “fremde zuthaten ” as “ Cenogenetische oder Störungsgeschichte"
and further to make his meaning clearer, on page 11 he divides cenogenetic phenomena into Ortsverschiebungen oder Heterotopien,” and, on page 12,“ Zeitverschiebungen oder Heterochronien.” Organs or parts may be developed heterotopically, that is, out of place or in a different part of the body from that in which they originated in the ancestors; or heterochronically, that is earlier in time during the life of the individual than that in which they originated, and he also speaks of the latter as “ontogenetische Acceleration,” using exactly the adjective applied in this country many years beforehand, but that fact does not seem to have been considered worthy of his attention. Haeckel then proceeds to add : “ Das umgekehrte gilt von der verspäteten Ausbildung des Darmcanals, der Leibeshöhle, der Geschlechtsorgane. Hier liegt offenbar eine Verzögerung oder Verspätung, eine ontogenetische Retardation." This is probably what Cope alludes to in his quotation of Haeckel, and certainly this is a restatement of Cope's law of retardation with, however, the ommission of any reference to the original discoverer. It will be gathered from the text above that I view acceleration firstly, as a normal mode of action or tendency of heredity acting upon all characters that are genetic, or, in other words, derived from ancestral sources; secondly, that a ctetic, or, in other words, a newly acquired character must become genetic before it becomes subject to the law of tachygenesis. Haeckel has evidently confused ctetic characters like those of the so called ovum of Taenia, the Pluteus of Echinoderms and the grub, maggot, caterpillars of insects, which have caused the young to deviate more or less from the normal line of development, as determined by the more generalized development of allied types of the same divisions of the animal kingdom, with the normal characters that are inherited at an early stage in the ontogeny and considers them all as heterochronic. It is very obvious that they are quite distinct and that, while the ctetic characters may have been larval or even possibly embryonic in origin, and may not have affected perceptibly the adult stage at any time in the phylogeny of the group, they are, nevertheless, subject to the law of acceleration and do affect the earliest stages as has been shown in Hyatt's and Arm's book on Insecta. Such characteristics do, of course, contradict the record, if we consider that the record ought have been made by nature according to anthropomorphic standards, and in such misleading phraseology they are falsifications of the ontogenetic recapitulation of the phylogeny. In a proper nomenclature, framed with due regard to natural standards, such expressions are inadmissable. There is absolutely no evidence that characteristics repeated in the younger stages of successive species and types owe their likeness to ancestral characters to other causes than heredity. This likeness may be interfered with or temporarily destroyed by extraordinary changes of habit, as among the larvae of some insecta and the forms alluded to above, or among parasites in different degrees, but the obvious gradations of structures in many of these series show that hereditary tendencies are not easily changed in this way. There are comparatively very few forms having doubtful affinities even among the parasites. It is also evident that the novel larval characters originating in the young in their turn speedily become hereditary and are incorporated in the phylogeny and recapitulated in the ontogeny.
It may be seen from this that in dividing tachygenesis into palingenesis and cenogenesis the writer has followed Cope rather than Haeckel, and there is a seri